Flemish food tech company competes with HelloFresh

Flemish food tech company competes with HelloFresh
Flemish food tech company competes with HelloFresh

Mealhero, which is fighting against HelloFresh with frozen meals and smart steamers, raises 2.5 million euros in capital from Belgian entrepreneurs, including Jan Haspeslagh (Ardo). “We’re hungry guys.”

‘How it all started? Actually with a simple idea between pot and pint at the Balaton Sound festival, a bit like the Pukkelpop of Hungary. The festival lasted four days and turned out to be one long brainstorm for us. We flew in the day after our return, ‘says CEO Jeroen Spitaels, who started the company together with Anton Claeys and Steven Debaere.

Two years ago, the three friends received almost a million euros to put their concept on the map. They positioned themselves at the busy intersection of healthy eating and convenient cooking, say cooking that gives you a helping hand. The concept of Mealhero is somewhat like HelloFresh, but is even easier to use.

Tex Mex Style

Mealhero supplies frozen ingredients, to be prepared at home in a self-developed steamer that you rent for 5 euros per month. As a customer you can choose from hundreds of products with which you can compose your own meal. These range from red cabbage and potato cubes to Tex Mex Style chicken fillet and salmon with horseradish. It suffices to scan each ingredient separately at home and the steamer will start the optimal steam program.



I already said in July that the corona virus turned on the turbo button for us. And that button is still pressed.

Jeroen Spitaels

CEO and founder Mealhero

That is catching on. Every month, Mealhero already delivers ‘tens of thousands’ of meals at home. The company was growing rapidly, and has accelerated even further thanks to the corona crisis. Many home workers suddenly had to look for a simple alternative to the quick lunches and sandwiches in the workplace, and ended up with Mealhero.

Turboknop

‘I already said in July that the corona virus turned on the turbo button for us. And that button is still pressed. Order numbers have doubled since the pandemic, and our customer base has quadrupled since the beginning of this year. Those are very big leaps. We want to maintain that growth rate, with at least doubling every six months. We are hungry guys and we are not yet where we want to be, ‘says Spitaels.

To realize its ambitions, Mealhero raised 2.5 million euros in capital from, among others, Jan Haspeslagh, from the family behind the West Flemish frozen vegetable giant Ardo. The founders of Deliverect and Bavet also contribute money. Deliverect developed catering software for home deliveries and recently raised 16 million euros. The Bavet restaurant chain wants to have 60 branches in the Benelux within three years. ‘We were not only looking for a bag of money, but also for investors with expertise who could help us move forward. And these three can do that in their own way, ‘says Spitaels.



We are going to grow from 30 to 60 employees. That scares me too, but we need it.

Jeroen Spitaels

CEO Mealhero

He is preparing for a major round of recruitment in the coming months. ‘We are going to grow from 30 to 60 employees. I am also shocked by that, but we need it for marketing, data analysis and software development ‘, it sounds. ‘We have a fairly unique concept, but the trick is to stay ahead in a competitive market. We will therefore optimize our product and the app, develop new recipes and offer them in a personalized way. We want to be our customers ‘personal chef.’

Mealhero has already moved to the Netherlands and is looking even further. ‘Things are going very well in the Netherlands. I am proud of that. The intention is to conquer other countries in Europe as well. ‘

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